Top Thanet council officer remains suspended from role

Thanet council

A member of Thanet council’s top officer team has been suspended.

The authority’s monitoring officer Tim Howes has been absent since the end of last year although a reason for his suspension has not been made public.

Last month a meeting of the General Purposes Investigations & Disciplinary Sub-Committee was held. The purpose of this committee is to “ consider allegations/issues regarding disciplinary matters relating to the Head of Paid Service, the S.151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

“To review existing decisions to suspend and to suspend the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer.”

It is understood that the decision to “move forward” and suspend Mr Howes was agreed.

A letter sent to council staff today (February 1) confirmed the suspension but added that it was a ‘neutral act’ without inference of guilt.

Mr Howes is the second senior management team officer to be suspended by the authority in the last two years.

In 2019 deputy chief executive Tim Willis was suspended. Mr Willis, who oversees the Housing and Planning service, Communications and Digital, Finance and Procurement and leads digital transformation across the council’s services, was reinstated a month later after being cleared on all counts of gross misconduct allegations.

Thanet council says it is unable to comment on the suspension. An “Acting monitoring officer” is currently carrying out duties.

34 Comments

  1. If correct the notification by a former councillor that TDC Labour councillors voted to restrict and charge for members of the publics comments is deplorable. What ever happened to “free” speech.

    • “If” correct- is it correct, or is it just the former councillor having a go at his or her former colleagues as usual?

      • Typical Labour and it’s voters. Corrupt and losing the publics trust.

        Won’t be long until snowflake Martha’s loving Labour are consigned to history.

        • No apostrophe needed in “it’s ” in this case, because it’s the possessive case.
          I expect Mr box is showing the benefit of a Tory education system.
          Any one remember Sandy Ezekiel? I don’t think he was a leftie.

          • Oh look, another leftie “Phyllis Quot” comes crawling out of the woodwork. I’ll expect Andrew along soon.

            You snowflakes just can’t handle hard cold facts. Luckily, many people that read the news articles and contribute on this website, aren’t as thick as you lot, especially not as thick as Martha. And you wonder why you lost the GE… it’s because of your dull thinking and the views you post in the replies to these articles.

            It’s time for you and Labour to wake up and smell the coffee.

          • How can we possible take someone called ‘The Box’ seriously. They don’t even do us the common courtesy of using their real name. Back in your box, I say!

        • If I can find a link to the actual proposal I will read it. Perhaps Kathy Bailes could add one to the above article.

  2. It’s my opinion over the years, council offices who have a backbone, seem to disappear without reason but presumably a handsome payout for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Kerching!

  3. I had a problem with planning office whereby I was told they couldn’t fulfill their checks on on going works to give a final check on conversion and alterations to a property as they were understaffed .Through their inability to check and either pass or fail works on property I have to sit in my living room and here conversations from next door as if they were in my own house .

    • Being a tad pedantic, planning can only check to see if the works were given planning permission if required and that the correct conditions were applied to said permissions. Wether the work was actually done correctly is a matter for building control but if the works are done using a private building regulation company the council won’t get involved. All va nightmare for someone in your position , council should at the least offer advice but they rarely will. Even if the works do not conform to the planning that was approved they won’t get involved in most cases. All you can do is keep complaining.

    • We also have a similar situation with a neighbour who has converted and opened an unlicenced guest house/Airbnb with no fire precautions, no soundproofing, no checks by TDC, and has been profiteering all through the pandemic lockdowns with no enforcement from the authorities. People coming and going freely for holidays. No these are not essential workers or people shielding either as they are in and out wandering about each day. Although all his advertising is done on his social media accounts to not be noticed locally TDC must know he is there as he is claiming the payments for lockdown to his business on top of deposits and holiday trade.
      Thanet Council are doing nothing to investigate this business and neither are the police but all reports are supposed to be investigated

      • Another example, TDC sold off a leasehold property of which they are the freeholder, the purchaser converted it into a two bed flat ( from one) similarly no planning permission or building regs and presumably no permission from freeholder TDC. Again no sound insulation etc. TDC / East Kent Housing refused to do anything, saying they wouldn’t know what look for, ( an extra bedroom and substandard room sizes you would think would be easy to spot). The council even allowed the land registry details to be changed when the property sold. Incompetent in the extreme.

  4. Only Howes? Why not Homer and Waite. With them gone we may stand a chance of a non-corrupt TDC. Wouldn’t that be great?

    • Suspended for what? Howes works for a public organisation; Thanet District Council. The public should be entitled to know what the allegations are. If he has been caught doing something illicit are the other officers complicit too? Rarely do people at this level work in isolation. Is there a collaboration with Mr Waite and Ms Homer?

    • All the time that Everitt and his Cabinet colleagues act like Homer’s subordinates that will never happen.

  5. Why has the suspended person been named suspended employees are not guilty of anything until proven or un proven.

    • I quite agree. But the same is true for most people arrested for a criminal offence. There are big headlines with their names all over the place. But they too are innocent until proved guilty.

  6. Dear God. When will this circus ever end?

    Thanet Council are a complete laughing stock and I cannot believe that the Councillors just play along with it rather than have a complete clear out at the top level. It’s frankly embarrassing.

    I think there is now only one senior manager in their management team who hasn’t been suspended by Homer and I can only assume he is doing a great job.

  7. No smoke without fire – if Mr Howes hasn’t been up to mischief, then it’s a good bet someone else has.
    Financial and other controls at TDC do seem to be inadequate – over 18 months after I raised an objection to accounts at TDC (for failing to keep adequate tendering and financial records) their chummy long standing external auditor (Grant Thornton) came back with a finding that there was no audit trail on the matter I had raised but it was an isolated incident!!
    I’m still waiting for action on the other issue I raised at the same time.

  8. Absent ? Followed by suspension?
    Hasn’t it occurred to lay people or simply the suffering electorate- “ hello “
    public monitor members.

    When ? You going to monitor? That absence is no sign of anything more than walking away head in hands screaming “ get me out of here “

    Suspension following absence is fairly standard operational procedure in any of the sectors ,in my personal limited experience – officers of council are educated professionals.

    Who are reasonable and hardworking under the difficult circumstances of obeying TDC elected.

    Whom obey their political masters .
    Sounds to me like this individual has walked away from the job – not a great surprise? Is it ?
    Can any reasonable person imagine working under the standards of TDC elected material.

    The joke being this individual is the local authority “ MONITORING OFFICER god damn it , pity the person who has to monitor the elected in this authority.

    I mean come on , hello . The elected here clearly refused training at clerk association seminar or similar Kent association of local councils.

    This amusingly is the “ MONITORING OFFICER god damn it “
    Come on can’t you see the irony of a “ MONITORING OFFICER god damn it “
    Walking off the job in disgust – returning to somewhere civilised no doubt- or at least with better quality elected representatives.

    Blame those that are elected not the long suffering officers under the political agenda capable genius of TDC elected.
    I mean come on seriously, we not talking about hugely capable people here are we ?

    Heads keep on rolling- that’s great – more resignations would be nice, when will anyone step in the ring and wrestle the agenda out of the hands of the poor decision makers thus far ?

  9. What a bunch of renegades tdc are, never been fit for purpose,dishonesty is within the structure of the council offices ,will never change.

  10. I believe you are correct and as far as I understand the situation our elected councillors recently voted to charge local residents for the privilege of submitting comments on live planning applications. I’m not sure of the details but it is a bit of a slap in the face for democracy. These are the same elected members who finally agreed to piloting a recycling scheme at Arlington House recently who then initially thought it a good idea to charge residents for what is a universal service provided as part of the council Tax in the rest of Thanet. Is this more of the same?

  11. Regardless of the reasons or validity of Howe’s suspension The senior officer team at TDC never seem to respond to correspondence sent them without numerous reminders to do so. Howes is no exception. Let’s hope his case is resolved one way or another without further waste of public resources funding his gardening leave.

  12. Regardless of the reasons or validity of Howe’s suspension The senior officer team at TDC never seem to respond to correspondence sent them without numerous reminders to do so. Howes is no exception. Let’s hope his case is resolved one way or another without further waste of public resources funding his gardening leave.

  13. Regardless of the reasons or validity of Howe’s suspension The senior officer team at TDC never seem to respond to correspondence sent them without numerous reminders to do so. Howes is no exception. His interface with the public at work or on suspension is likely the same. Let’s hope his case is resolved one way or another without further waste of public resources funding his gardening leave and hopefully not another golden handshake to help him on his way.

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